There’s a reason the Los Angeles Dodgers waived nine-year infielder Justin Turner (39-Boston Red Sox). Veteran designated hitter J.D. Martinez, 36, is on pace to break the 20-homer plateau for the Dodgers.

Martinez hit a game-winning three-run homer in the fifth inning to rally from a 2-4 deficit and lead the Dodgers to a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 6. He drove a three-pitch slider from Pittsburgh right-hander Roanjee Contreras over the left-center field fence.

With the blast, Martinez reached the 20-homer plateau for the season. It’s been two years since he hit 28 in 2021. Last year in Boston, he finished with 16 homers in 139 games, and this year he’s regained some of that power with 20 homers in 70 games. His on-base percentage also jumped from .448 last year to .553 this year.

Martinez, a right-handed slugger with 302 career home runs, debuted with the Houston Astros in 2011 and spent time with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks before spending five years with Boston beginning in 2018. After hitting a career-high 45 home runs in 2017, Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million free agent contract with the Red Sox.

In his first year of free agency in 2018, he had a career-high season with 43 homers, 130 RBIs, and a 1.031 OPS, helping Boston win the World Series. He kept the momentum going in 2019 with 36 homers, but his numbers dropped off in 2020. His power dropped off noticeably last year, when he batted just 2-for-7 with 16 homers, 62 RBIs and a .790 OPS in 139 games.

Boston did not offer Martinez a re-signing after he became a free agent. “They didn’t talk to me about a contract all season,” Martinez told The Bradford Show podcast in March. There was no conversation,” Martinez said on the podcast in March.

The Dodgers approached Martinez, and he signed a one-year, $10 million deal that was “cheaper” than expected. “I could have gotten more money if I had held out a little longer, but I wanted a team that could play baseball in October. I wanted a team that wins all year long,” Martinez said of his decision to sign with the Dodgers. The Dodgers are perennial favorites, and Martinez didn’t hesitate to put his stamp on the lower-than-expected price tag.토스카지노

Halfway through the season, Martinez is batting .849 with 20 doubles, 20 home runs, 59 RBIs and an OPS of .849 in 70 games. Despite missing 15 games in late April with a sore back, he surpassed the 20-homer mark before the end of the first half. Arithmetically on pace for 38 homers. His on-base percentage (.553) is fourth in the National League and tops the Dodgers.

To acquire Martinez, a designated hitter, the Dodgers waived Justin Turner, their “moral compass” for nine years since 2014. Turner signed as a free agent with Boston for two years and up to $21.7 million. He switched uniforms around the same time as Martinez, as if he had been traded.

While Turner has played like he’s defying his age in Boston, hitting .815 with 13 doubles, 13 home runs, 49 RBIs, and an OPS of .815 in 83 games, Martinez has the edge in offensive production. Even given the terms of the free agent deal, the Dodgers were better off with Martinez than Turner.

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